GSCO Horse Program changes – the future of the horse program

Girl Scouts of Colorado has volunteers committed to creating horseback riding opportunities for Girl Scouts across the state. We are happy to announce that Julie Fischer, former Statewide Horseback Director, has offered to stay on with GSCO as horseback riding volunteer to continue to develop horse programs away from GSCO properties. She will continue to develop connections with riding facilities and stables to offer Girl Scouts options and opportunities to ride at a discount. Julie will also continue to develop and host events and activities with facilities that Girl Scouts can attend in connection with horses. She is working on Wrangler in Training (WIT) opportunities that would allow older Girl Scouts to still learn and obtain skills relating to horses.

Julie is also working on additional riding opportunities so troops/girls have riding options they can opt into during their overnight camp experiences at summer camps, similar to what Magic Sky was able to offer this past summer. She is also connecting with outdoor organizations who do high adventure and outdoor opportunities for scouts as well.  Anyone who has information on facilities near them already offering discounts or who may be interested, or anyone who is interested in helping Julie go forward with developing other horse options as a volunteer, please contact her at dj2fischer@wildblue.net

We are also excited to see that Julie will be moving on to pursue her PhD – Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership from University of Phoenix.

Julie “Pecos” A.C. Fischer

Horse Advocate – Volunteer

Girl Scouts of Colorado

dj2fischer@wildblue.net

303-747-2512 office/home

Girl Scouts participate in Colorado Dragon Boat Festival

Girl Scouts of Colorado once again participated in the annual Colorado Dragon Boat Festival at Sloan’s Lake in Denver on July 27 & 28. Despite the abnormally cool and wet weather over the weekend, this was a great opportunity to introduce Girl Scouting to the community. We received lots of interest from both new girl and adult volunteer members. Additionally our booth, which was in the children’s Dragonland area, gave participants the opportunity to color dragon masks, learn their Chinese zodiac symbol and spin the wheel for prizes (in addition to warm up a little from the cool weather :)).

Thank you to all the volunteers and staff who helped make this booth successful. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Posted by Amanda Kalina, PR Director, Girl Scouts of Colorado, with help from the Denver Recruitment Specialists for Girl Scouts of Colorado 

Meadow Mt Ranch GSCO Blazing Saddles July 21st-26th 2013

Our final session of Blazing Saddles was a great week, even with the rain and a short hail storm.  The riders were able to venture out to Copeland Falls for lunch ride and day ride to Finch Lake.  Their final ride was full of trail blazing, games in arena, songs, and music as they sang their way into RMNP 😉  Check out their singing talents as they ride into the park at the following YouTube link:

http://youtu.be/VsQMje993NE

A family of one of the campers also created this fun video from the week: http://youtu.be/zR14_SI5bEA

Girl Scouts create a library with over 1,500 books for Denver Children’s Home

[slideshow]

Submitted by Lauren MacMillan
Denver

We bought, sanded, and painted bookshelves with donated paint, made 10 posters, solicited book donations and collected more than 1,500 books from one church, four schools, and two libraries; logged, sorted, labeled, shelved the books, and created a check out system therefore creating a self-sustaining library for the Denver Children’s Home Resource Center.

I was courageous by making calls to complete strangers for the project and strong by carrying boxes and boxes of heavy books. We were friendly, helpful, and caring by creating a fun little self-sustaining library with over 1,500 books. I helped my country and made the world a better a place by providing reading materials to less fortunate kids.

This story was submitted via the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments too.

 

Minutes – Outdoor Property Subcommittee Meeting, 7.19.13

In May, 2013 the GSCO Board of Directors commissioned a subcommittee composed of volunteers and staff to review the usage and sustainability of GSCO outdoor, or wilderness properties, including: Pawnee Lodge, Kiwa Korral, Hamp Hut, Lazy Acres, Twisted Pine, Magic Sky Ranch, Sky High Ranch, Meadow Mountain Ranch, and Tomahawk Ranch.
The Outdoor Property subcommittee held their initial meeting on 7/19 to review their charge from the statewide, volunteer board and determine their course of action. The following is a synopsis of the meeting and a list of next steps. Summaries from future meetings will also be posted on the blog.
I. Background/Context
a. The committee reviewed their charge from the board, which includes: gather and review data related to the outdoor / camp / wilderness properties in GSCO and make a recommendation to the GSCO Board of Directors on the future of these properties for their review, discussion and action.
ACTION: It was determined that the committee shall draft a formal statement of their charge for inclusion in the committee’s process document (referenced below).
b. The committee reviewed the current financial conditions and projections for the organization.
c. The committee reviewed the planned programming changes for the summer of 2014 http://gscoblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/17/2014-outdoor-program-changes/
d. The committee reviewed information and data about each property. Data included basic information about each property, current and historical usage, needed capital improvements, annual expenses and annual revenue.
II. Scope of Work
a. The committee discussed the potential process for the assessment and evaluation of the properties.
ACTION: It was determined that a proposed process should be drafted for committee review at the next meeting. The committee stressed that the process should include ways in which the public would be informed about the process, receive committee status updates and provide feedback.
b. The committee discussed current committee members and deliberated on the need to add members.
ACTION: It was determined that the committee would identify 2-3 additional members from GSCO volunteers. Interested volunteers may contact Jacky Noden (jackyk.noden@gscolorado.org) for details.

III. Next Steps and Timeline
a. The committee discussed the overall timeline for the project, as well as a feasible goal for making recommendations to the board.
ACTION: The committee requested that the draft process detailed above include a proposed timeline. The timeline will be reviewed at the next committee meeting.
b. The committee agreed to meet again in approximately 2-4 weeks to review the proposed evaluation process and timeline.

It’s sticky, it’s icky, it’s a great time at Oopy Goopey Science camp

Submitted by Daffodil
Dekovend Park, Centennial

Oopy Goopy Science, Dekovend Park, Littleton

View more photos

It’s sticky. It’s icky. It’s Oopy Goopy Science week! Day camp this week featured a variety of hands-on activities that taught girls about science. And of course things got messy along the way! The week started with each unit talking about the basics of science. This allowed campers to get a feel for their knowledge of science as well as brainstorm things they want to learn more about. Activities this week included density jars, many types of dough, solar beads, solar balloon, making paint, oobleck, making lab coats, tye dye, learning about sound, dissecting diapers, and many more hands-on experiments! Girls learned a lot about the different types of science that they can study, and walked away from camp understanding that science is a fun and exciting thing for young women to be involved in.

This week also brought an interesting twist. July 25th landed in the middle of the week which meant campers took a few hours to hang up their lab coats and put on a Christmas in July celebration. Unit three organized a party in which we played with fake snow, decorated a nearby tree, made ornaments, and learned about some Christmas traditions celebrated amongst the group. This also opened up the conversation about what other types of holidays and traditions we celebrate with our families and friends. At the end of the afternoon, there was even a surprise visit from Santa.

Friday brought some memorable gooey all camp activities. The morning was spent in units, and the afternoon was spent in stations. Stations included making and testing various shapes and sizes of bubble wands; making colorful artwork out of bubble prints; understating sublimation with smoke filled bubbles; and some hands-on action with an experiment called vampire veins. Closing circle ended differently this week as each girl made a wish and blew bubbles into the wind. It was the perfect send off to a great week at Dekovend Park.

This story was submitted via the Share Your Stories form. You can share your Girl Scout moments too.

Things are happening in Product Sales!

Product Sales is happy to announce that our team is now complete and “hungry” to serve Girl Scouts of Colorado, its members, volunteers and families. We are very excited to work with you!

(From bottom) Jordan Alvillar (Administrative Support Specialist), Kristina Meredith (Product Sales Specialist), Angel Haxton (Director of Product Sales), debi Metheney (Product Sales Specialist), Kathy Singer (Product Sales Specialist) and Dana Harrod (Product Sales Analyst)
(From bottom) Jordan Alvillar (Administrative Support Specialist), Shannon Allison (Product Sales Specialist), Angel Haxton (Director of Product Sales), debi Metheny (Product Sales Specialist), Kathy Singer (Product Sales Specialist) and Dana Harrod (Product Sales Analyst)

In order to serve you more efficiently, we have provided brief staff descriptions for each of us:

Jordan Alvillar, Product Sales Administrative Support Specialist:

Got questions about Cookie Credits, the Fall or Cookie sale, or need additional support from Product Sales? Jordan helps with “tightening up the screws” in our department. She is based out of the Denver office and is very excited to participate in the upcoming Fall and Cookie sale as an official Product Sales staff member!

Contact: jordan.alvillar@gscolorado.org, (303) 607-4870.

Shannon Allison, Product Sales Specialist (Denver Metro, Pueblo and Colorado Springs (El Paso County):

Shannon Allison, Product Sales  Representative
Shannon Allison, Product Sales Specialist

Shannon is our brand spankin’ new member in Product Sales! She just moved to Colorado after living and working in South Florida for the Girl Scouts of Gulf Coast Florida! She was the Sales Coordinator and worked with Product Sales and the Girl Scout Shop. Shannon was a Girl Scout herself and is loving the opportunity to work with volunteers and staff to continue to help empower girls to become leaders. She is ready to get started with Girl Scouts of Colorado and we are so happy to have her!

Contact: Shannon.allison@gscolorado.org, (303) 607-4839.

Angel Haxton, Director of Product Sales:

After 17 years, Dorothy Gregory retired as the Product Sales Director. We were very fortunate to inherit Angel as the new Product Sales Director after serving on the Girl Scouts of Colorado Product Sales team for 2.5 years. Angel has twelve years of previous Girl Scout experience as the CFO of Girl Scouts of Oklahoma. Something you’ll hear Angel say often is, “I love my job”. She is an enthusiastic leader who is determined to make this years Fall and Cookie sale the best ever.

Contact: angel.haxton@gscolorado.org, (303) 607-4819.

debi Metheny, Product Sales Specialist (Northern, Northeastern Colorado and Denver Metro):

debi Metheny was a Membership Specialist for Girl Scouts of Colorado before she came to the Product Sales team. Through her Product Sales Specialist position, she has been able to make strong connections with volunteers and members.

Contact: debi.metheny@gscolorado.org, (303) 607-4886.

Kathy Singer, Product Sales Specialist (Western Slope, Southwestern Colorado and Mountain Communities):

Kathy has been on the Product Sales team for 2.5 years. Before that, she was a Service Unit Product Sales volunteer for three service units in Grand Junction on the Western Slope. Kathy has a knack for planning spectacular Top Seller events to honor the Girl Scouts of Colorado who sell more than 750 boxes of cookies!

Contact: kathy.singer@gscolorado.org, (970) 628-8018.

Dana Harrod (Product Sales Analyst):

Dana had worked for Girl Scouts of Colorado in Registration and Business Systems for eight years before coming to Product Sales. Dana also has experience as a troop and unit volunteer as well as a council trainer. Dana serves as the “technical support” branch of the Product Sales team. She provides extensive technical and customer support for the user side of eBudde and NutE and also assists in inventory management with the Cookie Cupboards around the state.

Are you ready for the Fall Sale and Cookie Sale like us?

We are excited to announce the Fall and Cookie Sale dates below:

Fall Sale 2013:

Sale Dates: September 21, 2013 to October 13, 2013
Order form due to leader by: October 14, 2013
Turn in Money to Leader by: October 14, 2013
Deliver Products to Customers: October 30, 2013 – November 10, 2013

NEW to this year’s Fall Sale! We are now offering Fall Program Credits for this year’s sale, which will work like Cookie Credits! Stay tuned for more details.

Cookie Sale 2014:

Sale Dates: January 26, 2014 – March 2, 2014
Deliveries Start: January 20, 2014
Big Delivery Day: January 25, 2014
Cookies Now! My Sale Boothing: January 26, 2014
Council Booth Sale Starts: February 7, 2014
Cookie Return Date: February 12, 2014 (*You cannot return anything that is non-chocolate after the return date)
Arrival of Awards: April 21, 2014

We will be selling the six most popular varieties
Do-si-Dos, Samoas, Savannah Smiles, Tagalongs, Thin Mints and Trefoils
*Since inventory management has been a big challenge for non-chocolate varieties, we’re asking that you order only what you think you can sell. Non-chocolate varieties cannot be returned this year.
NEW! Personal Booth Sales are a go from day one!
Get creative and think about where girls can arrange their own Booth Sales throughout the entire sale. You still need to get them approved so they can get in eBudde and you’ll get the bonus of public promotions through the Cookie Locator website
and mobile app!
Council contracted sites such as Walmart, Sam’s, Safeway, King Soopers and Albertsons will run Feb. 7– March 2.

Volunteer! Want to be an asset in this year’s Fall Sale or next year’s Cookie Sale? Become a volunteer! All you need to do is fill out a volunteer application and specify if you would like to participate in the Fall or Cookie Sale!

Hungry for updates regarding Fall Sale, Cookie Sale and Product Sales in general? Visit the Product Sales Facebook page!

Thanks for reading! Please let us know if there’s anything we can do to better serve you.

Sincerely,

Product Sales

Every day an adventure at day camp for this Daisy’s first camp experience

 

From Irene, a parent of a Daisy camper at Make A Mess Day Camp in Colorado Springs

Growing up in a small town in New Mexico, I have many fond memories of my time in Girl Scouts. Perhaps my favorite of them all is the summer I spent at a day-camp out in the desert, cooking breakfast or lunch every day in our little Dutch ovens and cleaning our plates and silverware in mesh bags and buckets. So as my little 6-year-old was nearing the end of her first year in elementary school, my thoughts turned to what kind of day-camp she might enjoy.

My daughter, M, had been enjoying her first year as a Daisy Scout and I knew she would miss the learning and fun of her monthly Girl Scout meetings. Initially, though, I thought there wouldn’t be any camps for her at such a young age. Thankfully, I was wrong! When I received a summer camp brochure in the mail one afternoon, I was excited to see many opportunities for a girl her age. We decided on an art and science camp for her – Make a Mess Art Camp. The art part for M, the science part for me (who desperately hopes she loves science more than I did!).

What a great experience this was for her! She was a little nervous on the first day, knowing that none of her troop friends would be with her, but after about three minutes she was busily making and decorating her name tag, and telling me I needed to leave!

Every day was an adventure. M would come home with a list of all the neat (but messy) things they made at camp that day – snow, mucus, putty. She would excitedly tell her dad and I about painting with her feet, bobbing for apples, blowing bubbles with Columbine, and singing lots of songs (some of which I remember from my Girl Scout days!). I did worry a bit because she is a picky eater, but she would come home telling me about the healthy snacks they got to have and what new things she had tried.

It was wonderful to see my shy little girl make new friends on her first day and tell me all the nicknames of her new pals and leaders – M&M, Happy, Aspen, Pills. While she looked like one of the littler kids at camp, she seemed so grown up and confident as I left her each morning. And she is already asking about art camp next summer!

We’re so glad we chose a Girl Scout camp for M’s first day camp experience. We don’t leave her with people we don’t know very easily, but knowing this was a Girl Scout camp, I had full confidence in the leaders and organizers and knew my daughter would be safe and have a great time.

New Opportunities in Outdoor Programs

As Outdoor Programs Director, I am a camp person. I absolutely love camps and believe in their value in the role of the development of our girls, our staff, and our volunteers. I have had the best experiences of my life, and have made the best friends I have ever had at camps. At camp, there is a special magic that exists in no other place in the world. There is a special feeling of “we can do anything” because with the creative energy of your cabin and help from a counselor-and what you didn’t know you had within yourself-you can! It is because of this that I have devoted my entire professional career to working with camps and supporting the growth and development of girls and children in a camp and outdoor environment.

It is heart-breaking to me to have to make decisions that decrease any camp programs. Because I work directly with resident and day camps, I get to see first-hand how amazing the programs and staff are, how much they change lives of the campers and staff, and how precious that special place in nature can be to any individual.

During this difficult time, I fall back on what I learned at camp. I choose my attitude and find ways to take positive action in this situation. I try to find the silver lining, and I believe there is one! Despite the drastic changes we have had to make to keep Girl Scouts of Colorado thriving into the future, I see this as an opportunity. It is an opportunity to really get back to basics, to value what is truly valuable, and to develop stronger outdoor programs for Girl Scouts that are inclusive and accessible to even more girls and volunteers. Currently, only 10 percent of our membership participate in organized Girl Scout summer camp. With increased community-based opportunities, this can grow!

Here are opportunities available to help impact the future of Outdoor Programs for Girl Scouts of Colorado in a positive way:

Join the Outdoor Programs Advisory Committee: This committee will discuss general ideas and direction of Outdoor Programs with Girl Scouts of Colorado. Requirements:  must be Cadette level or older and a current registered Girl Scout. Adults must have registered as a GSCO volunteer. This committee will be volunteer appointments. If you are interested in being nominated for an appointment, please contact any Girl Scouts of Colorado staff member and they will forward your interest to the Outdoor Programs Director.

Become a PA Trainer: We want to increase the accessibility of PA trainings on a service unit level! This will increase opportunities for the Girl Scout Leadership Experience with older girls around the state. Requirements: must be an adult volunteer; must have 6 days/year to devote to PA training and trainer enrichment.

Email OutdoorPrograms@gscolorado.org if you are interested in this opportunity, put PA Trainer in your subject line.

Create a Volunteer Day Camp! Council will offer trainings at Springaganzas for volunteers seeking this exciting opportunity. We have many successful volunteer-run Day Camps in place already that can share their knowledge with us!

GSCO will provide optional support for volunteers who are offering day camps for Girl Scouts in their communities including:

  • posting their camp in the GSCO Summer Program Guide
  • posting their camp on the website Activity Finder
  • providing online registration
  • providing use of council equipment and gear
  • assisting with purchasing supplies for camp
  • options to use Cookie Credits to help girls pay for camp

We will host an interest meeting (online and conference call available) on August 14 at 6pm at the Denver Service Center for those who want to use any or all of these options.

Email OutdoorPrograms@gscolorado.org if you are interested in this opportunity, put Day Camp in your subject line.

Create a Volunteer Overnight Camp! Council is developing more Outdoor Program volunteer trainings that can be taken by adult volunteers, and in some cases, Seniors and Cadettes. Overnight Troop or Service Unit Camps can be offered locally.

GSCO will provide optional support for volunteers who are offering day camps for Girl Scouts in their communities including:

  • posting their camp in the GSCO Summer Program Guide
  • posting their camp on the website Activity Finder
  • providing online registration
  • providing use of council equipment and gear
  • assisting with purchasing supplies for camp
  • options to use Cookie Credits to help girls pay for camp

We will host an interest meeting (online and conference call available) on August 14 at 6pm at the Denver Service Center for those who want to use any or all of these options.

Email OutdoorPrograms@gscolorado.org if you are interested in this opportunity, put Overnight Camp in your subject line.

Become a PA/CIT/VIT (used to be LIT): We are examining the PA process, streamlining it, and creating more leadership options for girls year-round. We are seeking PA Committee volunteers Senior level and above to give ideas on how the PA program can support girls as they transition into leadership position.

Email OutdoorPrograms@gscolorado.org if you are interested in this opportunity, put PA Committee in your subject line.

Don’t have time for any of these volunteer positions? Help us recruit volunteers. Have a connection with a local university or another group of outdoor
enthusiasts who you think might make the perfect volunteer for one or more of
these positions? Let us know about them. We are sure there are a lot
Coloradoans who would love to guide our girls in outdoor adventures, and would
appreciate your help in making a connection to them as we seek out these
individuals to help with our programming.

Volunteer categories in the future of Outdoor Programs…this list is always growing!

Day Camp: see above

Boating: Learn about how to get trained to be a boating volunteer with canoeing, kayaking, sailing and more! Email Judy at Judy.Moisey-Asay@va.gov for more information.

Trip Leader: volunteer trip leader or guide to groups planning trips; this could be for your troop or other troops!

Outdoor Advisory Committee: see above

PA Trainer: see above

Horse Advocate: help build connections with local stables and other horse related programs and GSCO

High Adventure: help facilitate rock climbing, high ropes course, or zip line programs (additional training is required)

Marketing/Social Media: help promote events on the GSCO blog and on social media

Overnight Camp-Troop/SU Volunteer Run: see above

Resident Camp: contact the camp director of your desired camp in November/December to start the interview/screening process. Email Monica.Gray@gscolorado.org for Tomahawk Ranch, and Becky.Saad@gscolorado.org for Magic Sky Ranch. Opportunities for Resident Camp volunteers are limited due to childcare licensing restrictions.

Events/Outreach: help at outreach events; help recruit new girls with outdoor activities, help teach about the outdoors to other Girl Scouts and our community.

Outdoor Volunteer Trainer: help train with Cooking and Camping and other Outdoor Volunteer Trainings

To me, the decision to change outdoor programming, is not one that dilutes the value of Girl Scouting in Colorado’s outdoors. We have the same commitment to providing the outdoor leadership experience to girls, yet we need to get creative in how, where and who offers it. We are fortunate in this state to have plentiful outdoor opportunities through National Parks and Monuments, State Parks, Wilderness Areas, and more! Just because we are exploring a place outdoors that does not belong to Girl Scouts of Colorado, does not mean that experience will be any less special.

Girl Scouts are resourceful. We will find many and more ways to get girls into the outdoors, creating relationships with others and the world that will last a lifetime. This challenge is a temporary obstacle, and with the help of our girls and adult volunteers, we will come out of this stronger than before.

Horseback Riding at Tomahawk – final riding opportunities

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Attention all Colorado Girl Scouts!  We will be offering hourly riding sessions on weekends through August (after camp season ends) at Tomahawk! Don’t miss out on one last ride with your troop or family, or some lessons to develop your riding skills. You can register for riding at the following link:

http://gsusa.ebiz.uapps.net/vp/ProgramActivitiesEvents/tabid/720/default.aspx?pid=23&ProductCode=HORSEB

We also still have plenty of room for Cadettes in our “Bows and Arrows” horse weekend event at Tomahawk Sept 13-15th!  If you like horses and archery, this weekend is for you! Register today and don’t miss out on a fun filled weekend!

http://www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/events/1332

Girl Scouts of Colorado